Ringo Starr Once Described Why ‘Rain’ Was 1 of The Beatles ‘Weird Tracks’

Once The Beatles settled on Ringo Starr as their drummer, his life and their career would never be the same. Ringo’s drumming skills are more impressive when you learn about his kit set-up, which helped him create some instantly identifiable beats. One such case was the non-album track “Rain,” which Ringo said was one of the Beatles’ weird tracks for one reason. 

Beatles drummer Ringo Starr plays drums while filming videos for "Paperback Writer" and "Rain," which he once called one of the Beatles weird tracks.
Ringo Starr while filming videos for “Paperback Writer” and “Rain” | Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images

‘Rain’ was a B-side that included Ringo Starr’s massive drum sound

“Rain” never made it onto a Beatles album. It was the B-side to the 1966 “Paperback Writer” single, which itself was another non-album track. Still, the fact that it didn’t make it onto an LP doesn’t change the fact it ended up being a memorable track.

Some unconventional recording techniques give Ringo a massive drum sound on “Rain.” Producer George Martin and engineer Geoff Emerick recorded the Beatles at a higher speed, but then they slowed it down on playback to get it to the tempo fans heard. That trick gave the whole song a sort of shimmery (rain-soaked, perhaps?) sound.

The studio trickery made Ringo’s drums sound distant, perhaps shrouded in fog, but that’s not why Ringo called “Rain” one of the Beatles’ weirdest tracks.

Why Ringo called ‘Rain’ one of the Beatles’ weird tracks

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“Rain” starts with Ringo pounding the snare, but that was his simplest part of the song. The high-hat interspersed with the snare early on, rolling beats that incorporate the tom-toms and floor tom, and liberal use of fills throughout the song were unlike anything he’d done with the Beatles to that point. 

Even though it never ended up on an album, “Rain” is a Ringo showcase of the first order and one of the weird Beatles’ tracks, as he once told Conan O’Brien (via YouTube):

“I feel that when I played ‘Rain,’ it was the first time I sort of played that busy, and the last time I played that busy. I never sort of played like that again. It’s one of those weird tracks.”

Ringo Starr explains why Rain is one of the Beatles “weird tracks”

Ringo’s drumming on “Rain” telegraphs a lot of what he ended up doing on the Abbey Road LP several years later. Listening to that 1966 B-side, it’s not hard to hear elements of Ringo’s tour-de-force moments on 1969’s Abbey Road, such as “Come Together,” “The End,” and “I Want You (She’s So Heavy).”

The recording gimmicks made the entire song sound different, but Ringo’s drumming — which he called busy — makes “Rain” one of the weird Beatles songs.

Starr remained friends with Paul McCartney and George Harrison after the Beatles’ split

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The Beatles weren’t on the best of terms when the band broke up, but the acrimony didn’t last. Ringo re-established relations with his former bandmates.

Paul McCartney once threw Ringo out of his house when the drummer tried to deliver a letter from the other three Beatles, but that moment of conflict didn’t sour their relationship. They’ve made time to meet socially and play together over the years. Ringo lent his drumming skills to several of Paul’s solo albums. Paul and Ringo FaceTime each other regularly when they’re not playing together or meeting for dinner.

Ringo was one of the only drummers George Harrison depended on during his solo career, and they remained friendly after the Beatles’ split. 

Even the opinionated John Lennon admitted Ringo was a talented drummer. He proved it many times over the years, but “Rain” was what Ringo called a weird track that allowed him to display his mighty chops on the drums.

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